New Delhi : Mikhail Gorbachev, who set out to revitalise the Soviet Union but ended up unleashing forces that led to the collapse of communism, the breakup of the state and the end of the Cold War, died Tuesday. The last Soviet leader was 91.
Gorbachev died after a long illness, according to a statement from the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow. No other details were given.
Though in power less than seven years, Gorbachev unleashed a breathtaking series of changes. But they quickly overtook him and resulted in the collapse of the authoritarian Soviet state, the freeing of Eastern European nations from Russian domination and the end of decades of East-West nuclear confrontation.
U.S. President Joe Biden called Gorbachev a man of remarkable vision and a rare leader who had the imagination to see that a different future was possible and the courage to risk his entire career to achieve it.
The result was a safer world and greater freedom for millions of people, Biden said in a statement.